Hot Woks Cool Sushi

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From the outside, this pan-Asian BYOB located in a former single-family home next to the Kennedy Expressway in Irving Park looks tiny and unassuming. But looks can be deceiving. For starters, the folks behind the spot are industry vets. Partner Lois Lee grew up working at her family's restaurant (Chef Shangri-La in North Riverside) and chef Woranat "Noom" Wathakeyanon worked at Sushi Wabi and Tank. The restaurant's name sums up the menu: look for "hot" dishes from China, Thailand and Japan, plus "cool" sushi and sashimi combos and maki. Hot choices run the gamut from crab Rangoon and gyoza to Mandarin orange chicken, tempura udon and Panang noodles. The maki lineup includes faves such as rainbow and dragon rolls, but the Fukudome hits it out of the park--it's a jumbo roll with shrimp tempura, mayo, masago, avocado, chili sauce, red tobiko, cream cheese and scallions, with a coating of tempura crumbs and a topping of wasabi mayo and sweet soy sauce.